News / Africa

Kenya Orders Somali Refugees to Go Home

Newly arrived Somali refugees ride a donkey along the street at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, October 19, 2011.
Newly arrived Somali refugees ride a donkey along the street at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, October 19, 2011.
Somali refugees living in Kenya are returning to Somalia by the hundreds after the Kenyan government ordered them to go back home.  The Kenyan government says the presence of Somali refugees has led to the deterioration of security in the country.  The Somalis themselves fear a government crackdown. 

This week, the Kenyan government began relocating more than 50,000 Somalis living in Kenyan cities back to overcrowded and under-serviced refugee camps near the border, citing security concerns.  Thousands are also being flown back to Somalia.

The government directive targets people like Anab Duale, a mother of six who fled Somalia twelve years ago to escape fighting over the disputed territory between Somaliland and Puntland where she lived.

She says when she first arrived in Kenya it was a peaceful place and its people treated her and the Somali people well.

“To be honest with you life was good here, Kenyan people were good people, but now the public have turned against us," said Anab. "They just came with a ruling that has made people run away day and night.  Police are even coming storming residential areas to arrest people.”

Kenyan authorities began sweeping Somali neighborhoods following a series of grenade attacks targeting bus stations, mosques and churches last year.  Kenyan officials have blamed the attacks on the Somali militant group al-Shabab and its sympathizers, and have arrested hundreds of people suspected of being involved.

Anab says she does not want to move back to Somalia, but that the police pressure in Nairobi has made life here too difficult.

“The police are still making arrests," she said.  "The other night they were just here arresting boys especially.  I am saying they have to work on the security of the country and maintain the peace we once had.”

It is noticeably quieter these days in the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.  Many of the vendors and shops in this predominantly-Somali area have shut down in recent months, and the streets are nearly deserted.

Thirty-six-year-old Hassan Hashi says he has been forced to close down his business and that he is ready to go back home.

Hashi says he doesn't work now and the security situation has deteriorated.  He says merchants he used to take goods from have refused to sell goods to him when they heard that people were returning back to Somalia.  And he says he has decided to go back home because police are arresting people 24 hours a day.

The Somali embassy in Kenya has been busy for the last three months issuing thousands of travel documents to people like Hashi who have volunteered to return to Somalia.

Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya says the number of flights going to Somalia has increased.  He says there are at least two flights a day from Kenya to Mogadishu with each flight carrying 150 to 180 passengers.    

The ambassador characterizes the travel as a good thing, saying it is a sign his country is moving toward being a peaceful and stable nation, after years of civil war.

Kenya's decision to relocate refugees has been condemned by the United Nations refugee agency and and human rights organizations.  The rights groups say the decision to forcibly place refugees and asylum seekers in camps away from urban centers is a discriminatory and unlawful restriction on freedom of movement.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid